A former Israeli army soldier has been remanded in custody after pleading not guilty to the attempted murder of his wife when he fired a pistol in her direction at San Gwann.
The court heard how the bullet went through a television set and a window before hitting a wall across Triq il-Mediterran in San Gwann on Monday evening.
Simon Aydelman, a 53-year-old businessman born in Russia, denied attempting to murder his wife, firing a weapon in her direction in an inhabited area, being in possession of an unlicensed firearm, harassing his wife and causing her to fear that violence will be used against her. He also denied being in possession of cannabis and breaching various previous court judgments.
The court heard that this was not the first time that there were problems between the two, and he has already been convicted of similar incidents with his wife, including last September when he threatened to kill her and fired a weapon in public.
"He is a dangerous man," Police Inspector Elton Taliana told Magistrate Ian Farrugia as he objected to a request for bail.
"He was a soldier in the Israeli army in the past and suffers from a mental condition when he becomes paranoid. To make matters worse, he has a drinking problem. The police found him in a drunken state when they arrived on the scene on Monday. If he is granted bail, his wife will be in constant danger," he added.
On his part, defence lawyer Robert Galea said his client was vehemently denying trying to kill his wife or even shooting at her. In fact, he said, the police did not even find the semi-automatic pistol they were claiming to have been used during this case, which he described as "a mystery".
Magistrate Farrugia said the defendant did not offer the guarantees at law to be granted bail and therefore remanded him in custody.
Following a request by both the prosecution and defence, the magistrate recommended that Mr Aydelman be kept at the Mount Carmel Hospital Forensic Unit where he can be given "psychological and medical" treatment.
The defence team also included lawyer Shazoo Ghaznavi. Lawyer Sarah Sultana appeared parte civile for the woman.
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